Category Archives: Christianity

Pastor Talk: Delighting Grace Interviews Jon Hawkins of Pastor Discussions Podcast (Part 2)

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onc7eomLets continue our chat with Jon Hawkins, one of the pastor of Pastor Discussions Podcast that will hit the internet on January 6, 2017.

 Delighting Grace:  How can listeners interact with you guys and be part Pastor Discussions Podcast?

Jon Hawkins:   We have a website set up (www.pastordiscussions.com) and on the front page, there is a contact form. People can fill that out and get in touch with us that way. They can email us at pastordiscussions@gmail.com. They can  head over to Facebook and “like” the Pastor Discussions Podcast page. We just launched that about 2 days ago and already have been given show fodder. It’s great! If you want to stay up to date on upcoming shows and giveaways, you can join our mailing list (details on the website).

In the future we will be adding a group on Facebook for discussion of show content or anything else really. We are also looking at doing some shows on Google Hangout that are just question shows. People can jump on and ask questions and we will talk about them live. Another thing we are looking at is doing a T4G meet up where anyone that’s at T4G can meet up, hang out and chat. We might even record a show live at T4G. If any of our listeners have more or better ideas, we would love to hear them.

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Delighting Grace:  I’m excited already for your podcast. You said that you dont have any experience in podcasting? So now you have one what lessons have you learned in producing a show?

Jon Hawkins:   I have been on a podcast, but I have never had to deal with all the technical aspects of recording it. I just showed up and clicked a link. The biggest lesson I’ve learned so far is that God puts the right people in your life to help you do the things He wants you to do. Other podcasters have reached out and helped, we have people in our church that have helped and that have given technical advice, people like you have shown interest in what we are doing and offered to promote it, and there have been people that have been excited to be on the show.

It’s funny because don’t drop our premier episode until January 16th, but people are already excited about it. It’s just been amazing to see God bring the right people at the right time as we stepped out in faith. The second lesson I’ve learned is that quality is a must. We have invested in some good mics so that the content sounds good. As I’ve been researching podcasts, there are a lot that I stopped listening to within the first 5 minutes because of the audio quality. I’ve also learned that you can find tutorials for just about anything on YouTube.

Delighting Grace:  For you what might be a sticky topic that you might encounter in future episodes? Is Pastor Discussion Podcast open for controversial topics?

Jon Hawkins:   There are probably 1000 sticky topics because everyone has topics that they are passionate about and have strong feelings about. We have no issues talking about controversial topics because I think that part of the Christian life is dealing with controversial issues using the Bible. The gospel itself is controversial. It causes divisions and is an aroma of death to those who are perishing and an aroma of life to those who are being saved. Paul certainly talked about controversial issues. I’m preaching through Romans currently and Jew/Gentile relations was a massively controversial topic. So while we don’t want to be known for being controversial for the sake of being controversial, I’m sure we will hit on some issues that will cause some people to disagree passionately.

I think the key is to always stay tethered to the Bible and to speak the truth in love and grace. There is a way to say truth and be a jerk. We don’t want to do that. Anything is on the table though and we will try to be gracious and loving while at the same time, standing on our convictions from the Bible and if it’s a secondary issue, my hope is that we can discuss it, disagree with charity, and still be friends. Christians need to learn to disagree with charity and brotherly love. In a culture where disagreement means that you get demonized and are labeled “intolerant”, Christians need to learn how to have hard conversations and challenge one another without breaking fellowship or turning on each other. That will be our aim.

Delighting Grace: Can we have a sort of teaser on how episode #1 will go?

Jon Hawkins:   We are actually dropping 2 episodes on Jan 16th.

Delighting Grace: Wow two episodes!

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Jon Hawkins:   We want to give people a couple of shows to listen to so they can see if it’s something they will enjoy and want to be a part of. Al I ask is if you don’t like the first two shows, maybe stick around. Hopefully we will get better at this. So the first episode will be a kind of intro to the show. We will introduce ourselves and tell a little bit about why we are doing this show and what listeners can expect in the future. We will also be announcing the winners of a giveaway we are running (details on the website). The second one is a secret. You’ll have to check out the feed on Jan 16th but I am really excited about it.

Delighting Grace: The second episode is a secret folks. So better check it out. Please invite our readers to come check you out and how they can get connected with the podcast.

Jon Hawkins:   Thank you for taking the time to read this and giving me an opportunity to share a little about what we are doing. I’d like to invite you to be a part of it and join the discussion. We premier on January 16th, 2018, but the show is already up and active so you can subscribe to the podcast. You can find it on iTunes (https://apple.co/2lKiHZr), Stitcher (http://bit.ly/2CxOszg) and Spreaker (http://bit.ly/2CHJzkU). You can sign up for our mailing list and find show info and promo/giveaway info on our website, www.pastordiscussions.com. You can also find us on social media. Facebook (www.facebook.com/pastordiscussions), Twitter (@RealPDPodcast) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/pastordiscussions). Finally, you can email us a pastordiscussions@gmail.com.

Thank you again for your time and thank you Nitoy for allowing us to share about what God is doing. We are really excited about this and looking forward to having a weekly conversation about doctrine, faith and the Christian life.

Delighting Grace: Again it’s a pleasure giving a hand to your podcast. Guys mark your calendars, January 16 Pastor Discussions Podcast will premier and we hope you’ll listen to it and share it with your friend. God bless and Enjoy Jesus!

 

(Pastor Discussions Podcast premieres January 16, 2018. Check their website www.pastordiscussions.com to listen to their podcast, subscribe to the mailing list and enter exciting giveaways.)

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The Quotable Round-Up (R. C. Sproul Edition)

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photo courtesy of The Gospel Coalition

One of the saddest news in the Reformed theology world is the passing of Dr. R. C. Sproul. Robert Charles or simply R. C. to his friends, died last December 14, is one of the leading theologian and teacher that upholds the Doctrine of Grace. He will be greatly missed however his legacy will remain as we discovery God through his sermons and books. As for me I have a personal “Sproul Story”.  Sproul is one of the authors I most likely turn down when it comes to theology. I would go for John Piper or John MacArthur. I was an Arminian then. However, with God’s providence I tried a book of his on reformed. As I was reading it a light bulb moment came to me. Something that’s pulling me back from not embracing Calvinism was answered. I thank God for R. C. Sproul for giving that answer that I have been looking for.

As you know this post is “The Quotable Round-Up” so I would like to present to you quotes from R. C. Sproul’s book “Justified by Faith Alone”. As always I you like this book, please do get to your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon. And as added bonus, I include some freebies so you can check out Sproul’s teachings free of charge. Of course you can find him on Ligonier Ministries, where you can find more of his teachings. God bless you and enjoy Jesus!

“Without sola fide one does not have the gospel; and without the gospel one does not have the Christian faith.”

“Justification refers to a legal action by God by which he declares a person just in his sight. The Protestant view is often described as “forensic justification,” meaning that justification is a “legal declaration” made by God.”

“It must be added, too, that having a personal relationship with Jesus does not save us unless it is a saving relationship. Everyone has a personal relationship with Jesus. Even the devil has a personal relationship with Christ, but it is a relationship of estrangement, of hostility to him. We are all related to Christ, but we are not all united to Christ, which union comes by faith and faith alone.”

“The evangelical doctrine of justification is communicated by the Reformation slogan sola fide, which declares that justification is by faith alone. Even this formula is a kind of theological shorthand for the concept that justification is by Christ alone. By faith we receive the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, whose righteousness is the sole and sufficient ground of our justification.”

“Faith is not the ground of justification. Rather, it is the instrument by which the believer is linked to Christ and through which the objective benefits of the saving work of Christ are subjectively appropriated.”

“We are just by virtue of the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, which righteousness is imputed to people who are still sinners and in whom sinfulness still inheres.”

“On the cross Christ paid the price for our sin. This was both a work of expiation and propitiation. By expiation he “took away” our sins from us. By propitiation he satisfied the justice of God by undergoing the penalty for our guilt.”

 

Read my book review on Sproul’s book “Knowing Scriptures”

 

Get these freebies from R. C. Sproul without breaking the bank!

FREE ebooks by R. C Sproul on Monergism.com

FREE “Crucial Questions” series (all 28) ebooks by R. C. Sproul

FREE audiobook of “The Barber Who Wanted to Pray”

FREE ebook “Abortion: A Rational Look at An Emotional Issue” 

FREE ebook “Thinking. Loving. Doing” from Desiring God (R. C. Sproul contributes a chapter in this book)

The Quotable Round-Up #70

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tpn6bjcSweet day to all! I hope you’re having a great day as you dive in this brand new collection of quotes! This time we are featuring the book by Sam Allberry titled “Why Bother with Church?” And if you got stoked with these quotes, please get the book at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon.

“At the foot of Sinai, the people of God were “churching” together. And churching here means more than just hanging out over a latte and catching up on the weekend sports results. This gathering was marked by being in the presence of God, receiving his words of promise and direction, and being constituted as his people. The weekly gathering of Christians that the New Testament describes as church is something of a re-enactment of this moment.”

“Just as the US embassy in London is considered a part of US sovereign territory overseas in a foreign land, so the local church is a small part of heavenly territory in this world.”

“The church is God’s family. It is not those who have signed up to a human institution, or who find themselves in natural sympathy with Christian ethics and church life. It is those who have been brought into God’s family through the reconciling work of his Son.”

“The way in which the church depends on the truth is obvious: it is the truth of God’s word that brings the church into existence and shapes all that she is to be.”

“The church is the earthly outlet for God’s truth, the embassy that represents him. Christians are this individually too, of course. But it is through the church being church, rather than primarily through individual believers each separately doing their bit, that the truth is upheld and commended to a watching world.”

“For a region to be without a church means that it does not have the access it needs to the truth of God’s goodness and love. Lacking a church is not equivalent to lacking a decent supermarket or movie theatre; it is like lacking a hospital or a source of water. It is an utter necessity.”

“If you want to understand how committed Jesus is to the church, here’s your answer. He doesn’t just create it and let it be. He marries it. He is not just our almighty King; he is also our perfect Husband.”

 

The Digital Round-Up # 6

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aslvob2Hello there! I hope you’re enjoying my new and improved “The Digital Round-Up. What do you think of it? Eclectic? Weird? Interesting? I want just want to know. So please, please, please do me a favor and post your comments about this post at the comment section. Thank you and God bless!

Free ebooklet “Gospel Centered Ministry”- this booklet is written by Tim Keller and D. A. Carson and it’s part of a series of digital booklet produced by The Gospel Coalition.

Unbeatable – Move over Deadpool, here comes Unbeatable! This comic strip hero by a French author named Pascal Joucelin is 4th walling and time paradoxing which makes this strip interesting and enjoyable.

5 Today – A new ministry that focuses on posting 5 things that Christians should think about. I’ll be contributing some articles on this blog so please do check it out. Here’s the link to the blog and this is the Facebook page.

Book Trailer of “Why We’re Protestant” I previously reviewed. Check my review on Goodreads.

 

The Quotable Round-Up #69

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Photo by Nonsap Visuals on Unsplash

Hey people here’s your favorite post. Hot and fresh quotes from the book “Long Before Luther” by Nathan Busenitz . If you enjoyed these quotes, please buy the book at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon. Feel free to share this post over your social media. God bless you and enjoy your week!

“The church fathers speak of the sinner’s need for a righteousness that cannot be found in either his own merits or the law. Speaking of the unattainable standard of God’s perfect righteousness, Origen explains that to be justified before people is different from being justified before God. “In comparison with other people,” he writes, “one person can be deemed just if he has lived relatively free from faults; but in comparison with God, not only is a person not justified, but even as Job says, ‘But the stars are not pure before him.’” Origen explains that while we may seem pure in comparison to other people, and vice versa, we can never be pure in comparison to God, who is perfectly pure.”

“The forensic nature of justification in the patristic literature can be seen in at least two ways: through the use of law court terminology and through the contrast drawn between justification and condemnation.”

“The Reformers recognized that Jesus did not actually become a sinner on the cross; yet God punished Him as if He were a sinner so that, in Christ, believers might be treated as if they were righteous. The sins of believers were imputed to Christ at the cross so that, because He bore the punishment for those sins, His righteousness might be imputed to those who believe in Him.”

“The Reformers taught that justification occurs at the moment of salvation, which means the believer is immediately declared righteous and restored to God’s favor. Sanctification, by contrast, takes place progressively over a believer’s entire life, and results in his or her growth in personal holiness through the power of the Holy Spirit. The regenerated heart, having received new life in Christ, is able to respond in obedience. to God and grow in godliness.”

“When justification and sanctification are confused, the inevitable conclusion is that the believer’s personal holiness contributes, at least in part, to his or her right standing before God. This legalistic notion was something the Reformers passionately sought to guard against.”

“Melanchthon and Calvin give us two clear examples of a Reformation understanding of the forensic nature of justification. In the court of heaven, sinners are guilty and worthy of condemnation. Even their self-righteous works are like filthy rags in the sight of a holy God (see Isa. 64:6). Yet by grace through faith in Christ, sinners are pardoned by the heavenly Judge and declared to be righteous. Being justified, therefore, means to be acquitted of sin and accepted by God as if we were righteous, because we are clothed in the perfect righteousness of Christ.”

“Most Roman Catholics viewed justification as a formative process that involved sinners being “made righteous” over the course of their entire lives. Consequently, in the Roman Catholic view, believers contributed to their justification through the acts of penance and good works they performed. The Reformers rejected that notion, arguing instead that justification is an immediate change in the sinner’s status before God, to which believers contribute nothing. It is entirely a work of God.”

The Quotable Round-Up #68

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Photo by Nonsap Visuals on Unsplash

On this edition of “The Quotable Round-Up”, we commemorate the 500th year of the Reformation. The following quotes are from the book “A Little Book on the Reformation” by Nathan Busenitz. What’s cool is that you can get the book for free just by following this link: https://www.tms.edu/reformation-ebook-giveaway/. But before you download the book, enjoy some snippets from the book:

“Fueled by their study of the Bible, the Reformers proclaimed the truth that salvation is not based on good works. Rather, it is the free gift of God, given to undeserving sinners by grace alone (sola gratia) through faith alone (sola de), on the basis of the nished work of Christ alone (solus Christus). Recognizing that believers can take no credit for their salvation, the Reformers responded to the wonder of redemption by giv ing God all of the glory. Soli Deo gloria summarizes the triumphant cry of sinners who recognize they are saved solely by grace.”

“The Reformers contended that, because Christ is the Head of the church, His Word is the final authority for the church. Papal decrees and church traditions must be subjected to the authority of Scripture alone (sola Scriptura), not the other way around. is commitment to biblical authority led the Reformers to boldly denounce the works-based sacra mental system of medieval Catholicism, recognizing that the true gospel ran contrary to the so-called gospel of the Roman church.”

“Why did Catholic authorities at the Council of Constance condemn John Huss as a heretic? Why did they deem him worthy of death? e answer to those questions revolves around the issue of authority. Based on his study of Scripture, Huss boldly proclaimed that Christ alone is the head of the church, not the pope.”

“It was ignorance of Scripture that made the Reformation necessary. It was the recovery of Scripture that made the Reformation possible. And it was the power of the Scripture that gave the Reformation its enduring impact, as the Holy Spirit brought the truth of His Word to bear on the hearts and minds of individual sinners, transforming them, regenerating them, and giving them eternal life.”

“Tyndale lived at a time when those who dared to translate the Word of God, and thereby unchain it from its Latin coffin, faced the possibility of being burned alive. But the seeds of Protestantism, im planted in English soil a century-and-a-half earlier by John Wycliffe, had come to sprout green shoots that gave fruit in the form of Tyndale’s Bible. For his efforts, the gifted linguist would suffer greatly for the sake of Christ, being thrown into a dungeon and put on trial for his life.”

“There is no part of our life, and no action so minute, that it ought not to be directed to the glory of God.” Those words, penned by John Calvin in his commentary on 1 Corinthians, aptly summarize the life and ministry of this notable Reformer. For Calvin, soli Deo gloria was more than a slogan. It was the primary goal of his life.”

Book Review: Why We’re Protestant by Nate Pickowicz

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u6zfemtWhen writing reviews, there are lots of thing you can say about a thick book. This is because a bulky volume can cover lots of grounds in a given topic. However in this new book of Nathan Pickowicz it’s not just an introduction to the 5 Solas we affirm. But it’s a mix bag of everything for everyone’s need done in a clear, understandable and orderly manner.  This book is for a.) A believer who is confused with what he believes b.) A Catholic who wants to know the difference doctrinally between a Protestant and Roman Catholic church c.) A believer who wants to know the historic background of the 5 solas d.) A believer who wants a concise biblical response to Roman Catholicism’s beliefs and e.) A seeker who wants to know how to get right with God. That’s why I love reading this short book of because every angle is covered to satisfy different readers.

Reading this as we celebrate the 500th of the Reformation will reinforce the biblical and historical belief that we hold as a Christian. And it’s a gentle reminder for us that we should not compromise what believe. I highly recommend this book.

My verdict:

5 out of 5